There’s a reason Orlando is nicknamed the “Theme Park Capital of the World.” In 2015, 66 million visitors flocked to the Florida city that’s home to Walt Disney World, plus Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando.
After a thrilling time at the parks, you may want to relax at one of the many beaches just a short drive away. Pick up your rental car from one of Alamo’s nine Orlando locations and hit a nearby beach with tips from this guide.
While every beach provides visitors with unique experiences, a few of them seem tailor-made for specific types of vacationers.
- Best Beach to Surf: Cocoa Beach
- Best Beach for Art and History Lovers: New Smyrna Beach
- Best Beach for NASCAR Fans: Daytona Beach
- Best Beach for Science and Nature Lovers: Canaveral National Seashore
- Best Beach to Watch the Sunset: Clearwater Beach
- Best Beach to Enjoy Some Peace and Quiet: Honeymoon Island State Park
- About 60 miles from Orlando.
- Public parking is available on the streets and in paid and free lots at oceanfront parks such as Alan Shepard Park, Sidney Fischer Park, Lori Wilson Park and Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park.
Follow the aptly named Beachline Expressway toll road east from Orlando. Take a right at the Atlantic Ocean, and you’ll find yourself in Cocoa Beach. Pro surfer Kelly Slater got his start in the “Surfing Capital of the East Coast,” and you, too, can try catching waves with lessons from one of the local outfitters.
Prefer to stay dry? Watch the locals hang 10 — slang for when all 10 toes are on the nose of the surfboard — while you cast a fishing line from the Cocoa Beach Pier. Or tackle another water sport from the Thousand Islands Conservation Area; its flat waters are ideal for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or even motoring about on a pontoon boat. This oceanside town is also home to the world’s largest surf shop — the legendary Ron Jon Surf Shop flagship store — where you can find supplies for your day in the sun.